What is Montessori?

Developed in the early 1900’s by Maria Montessori and used internationally in schools for over 80 years, Montessori is a comprehensive educational approach designed to help each individual child reach their full potential at their own unique pace.

The Montessori philosophy values the natural curiosity and ability for learning present within each child. Students learn responsibility, time management, and social skills along with academics within a highly structured, prepared learning environment.  Lessons are given individually or in small groups of children with similar interests, skills or academic needs.  Students work at their own pace and follow their own interests throughout the sequential curriculum designed to help every individual reach his or her full potential.  Students are grouped into multi-age classrooms.  Younger students are inspired by, and imitate, the work of the older children who act as role models.  Older students gain experience and confidence in leadership.

During an uninterrupted, three-hour work period, students are guided by the teacher to make choices about where what, and how long to spend on a particular work.  After an initial presentation, students are able to practice and continue their learning independently with the support of specially designed manipulative materials, beautiful charts, timelines, and books.


Watch this ORLA Montessori overview video from 2018Opening in a new window to learn more.


Questions Please Call: (360) 596-7730




2023-24 School Year

ORLA Montessori Information & Enrollment Meetings


If you have a first or second grade student and are interested in enrolling into ORLA Montessori from now for the remainder of the 2022-23 school year, please complete the 2022-23 Google Interest Form below. You will receive a Zoom link to the next meeting or email [email protected]



If you would like to learn more about Montessori for the Fall, please fill out the 2023-24 Interest Form.


ORLA will offer 2 Zoom and 2 onsite meetings after the OSD Kindergarten Roundup event Saturday, March 4, 2023.  Attendance at only one meeting is necessary to be accepted into the Lottery. After the meeting, registration paperwork will be handed out. Dates will be added as soon as they are confirmed.



Check back here and also watch for Facebook events to see which meeting works best for your schedule. We are looking forward to meeting you! 

Please only complete the online registration form on the OSD Website if your student has been accepted into the ORLA lottery. If your student has not been accepted into the ORLA lottery and you complete the online registration, your application will NOT be processed.

ORLA will offer the following grades for the 2023-2024 school year:

  • 4- Kindergarten (5 years old by August 31) - 2nd grades
  • 3- 3rd - 5th grades

Additional Information


Frequently Asked Questions


ORLA Montessori Classes:

Fall 2023 the following grades:

  • Four Kindergarten (5 years old by August 31) - 2nd grades
  • Three 3rd - 5th grades

Is Montessori Right For My Child?


How much does it cost to enroll?

 ORLA Montessori is free and part of the wonderful alternative choices within the  Olympia Public School system.


Where are you located?

 Our school is off Boulevard Road at 2400 15th Ave SE Olympia, 98501. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Contact 360-596-7730 with Attendance Line at 360-596-7773.


What is the Montessori Work Period?

 The Montessori Method is built around a 3-hour work period during which, students work at their own pace. Under the guidance of the teacher, they may choose to pursue activities in math, language, science, history, geography, practical life or sensorial. At any time on any day, all of these activities may be occurring simultaneously. Students may work independently, with a partner, or with a small group of children.


The Montessori Materials

The classroom environment is prepared with learning materials specially designed and sequenced to spark curiosity and foster independent learning. Hands-on, self-correcting manipulatives in math and language allow students to work independently towards mastery of concepts presented. Engaging charts, timelines, books, and nomenclature cards fill the shelves of the cultural areas, inviting and guiding the students through studies of geography, history, and science. Additional materials may be found at the Supply Lists link required by each classroom.



 The carefully structured Montessori classroom is organized into five distinct curricular areas:


  •  Sensorial: Students develop and train all five senses to explore, classify, discriminate, and order their world.
  •  Practical Life: Students develop motor skills, concentration, grace and courtesy through activities with a lifelong practical application such as pouring and measuring, gardening, using good manners, and other skills that lead to independence.
  •  Math: Hands-on manipulative materials allow students to work independently and develop concrete understandings of place value, number order, operations and facts, fractions and geometry.
  •  Language: In addition to guided lessons in reading and writing, manipulative materials in the language area give practice in phonics, grammar, spelling, and handwriting - giving a solid foundation for progressively advanced skills.
  •  Cultural: History, geography and science materials allow the student to discover and expand their knowledge of various forms of life on earth and their interdependence, our universe from the beginning of time to the present day, the physical laws of science, and the history of the development of civilizations and culture.


Supply Lists


ORLA Montessori values the natural curiosity and learning abilities of a child. The classroom has materials specially designed and sequenced to spark curiosity and foster independent learning.


Each teacher has a specific supply list for their room. They are added as they are updated. Please select the drop-down arrow next to your teacher's name.


Kindergarten, First & Second Grade


ALL K-2 STUDENTS: Personal Supplies - Please label with your child’s name.


  •  A complete change of clothes for your child in a Ziploc bag (in case of accidents or spills).
  • 1 pair of clean gym shoes to leave at school for use in the gym or classroom on muddy days. (shoes with laces for tying practice preferred)
  • Emergency Supply Bag – 1 gallon Ziploc bag filled with non-perishable food items. Food items should have a 1-year shelf life.
  • 1 - blue, plastic 2-pocket folder
  • 1 tote bag for storing books selected for quiet reading time.
  • 1 Cloth Placemat (will be packed in your child’s lunchbox).
  • 1 Primary Journal (each page is ½ blank space for drawing and has lines underneath for writing) Last year, Office Depot and Fred Meyer carried these; they are also available from many online vendors.
  • 1 wide-ruled composition book
  • 1 clipboard


Shared Materials (do not label):

  • 1 package sponges
    1 package baby wipes (no clorox or bleach)


Note: Individual teachers may have an additional request once the school year begins.



Third, Fourth & Fifth Grade


Personal supplies (write student’s name on these items, PLEASE.)

  • 2 plastic 2-pocket folders ____ plastic clip board
  • 2 paper 2 picket folders (will be a writing folder) ____ Backpack or book bag.
  • 1 handheld a pencil sharpener ____ Tri-fold board 5th grade
  • 1 small personal whiteboard
  • 2 whiteboard makers
  • 3 Composition Notebooks (Language, Math, Science)
  • 1 pencil box or pouch
  • 1 sturdy magazine holder
  • 1 emergency pack: a Ziploc style bag with your child’s name, containing a change of clothes, socks, non-perishable foods, and an emergency blanket.


Shared supplies throughout the year:

  • 24 pencils (plain yellow, wooden)
  • 2 boxes 12 count colored pencils.
  • 1 pink eraser
  • glue sticks (pack of 3)
  • 2 Large containers of disinfectant wipes
  • 1 Large box of Tissue


In Montessori, we don’t use crayons or color markers. Please do not send these to school.


Volunteer in ORLA Montessori

To Volunteer at ORLA do these three steps:

  • Attend a required Volunteer Orientation meeting - these are held every Tuesday at 9AM via Zoom.  Click THIS LINK to access the Zoom.

Complete the OSD Volunteer application and be approved by the district - this generally takes between 2-5 days and you will receive an email from the district when you are approved.  Here is the link to the OSD Volunteer application:   OSD Volunteer Application


  • Show evidence of COVID vaccination - you can do this by bringing in your vaccine card to the front office OR by emailing a photograph of it to Laura Herman at [email protected]


  • After attending Orientation, use this Sign Up Link to see what opportunities are available in ORLA Montessori. Thank you so much for helping us at our school!